I showed up to this handstand workshop at one of my favorite places to practice, Yoga World Studios. I was nervous because I don’t know how to do a handstand, and when I challenge myself to not use the wall, I get butterflies in my stomach. I was also looking forward to learning about the techniques involved with mastering a handstand. I know many yogis who have no interest in learning how to do a handstand, but I do. I remember going to my first intermediate yoga class and being in awe when some yogis went into a handstand in the middle of the yoga sequence. For whatever reason, I was hooked and have been trying for the past three years to master a handstand. And even though I still don’t know how to do a handstand, I am totally enjoying the journey of going upside down. Wayne Dyer says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
The workshop was led by a super fit, knowledgable and supportive yoga instructor named Erika Gasztonyi. I learned about hand placement, exercising my wrists, finger exercises and the importance of having a strong core. Who knew there was so much to it? Erika also referenced Dylan Werner, an inversion and arm balance master, whom she says taught her a lot about the art of balancing. I naturally came home and looked him up, and again was impressed. It is amazing how with continued practice, perserverence, and dedication, our bodies, mind and spirit can soar to new heights.
During the workshop some were able to find some hang time. I wasn’t able to, but I was super excited that they were making huge progress in their handstand journey. Seeing others succeed encourages me to keep trying.
These past two weeks I have been going upside down sans the wall. Most times I fall on my bum, but I’ve learned how to fall out of it. Once in blue moon I even get some hang time. I’m so close I can feel it! However, during these few and rare moments that I am in a handstand, the feeling of being strong, light and perfectly balanced, is worth all the falls that I have taken. Whether I learn how to do a handstand this year or in the next ten years or never, going upside down has been quite a journey because I’ve had the courage to try.
Erika – great workshop! Your dedication inspires me.